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  GOP Death Watch

If Republicans Don’t Like Mitt Romney, Why Should Anyone Else?

One of the defining characteristics of the national GOP is the party’s discipline. Once the party has its nominee, it marches in lockstep (or possibly goosestep) behind him. Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment was: thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. And for the most part, the party adheres to that commandment–except when it comes to Mitt Romney.

Romney has the dubious distinction of being repeatedly called out by otherwise reliable party stalwarts for a wide range of failings. Consider just this sample:

  • In response to the Romney Olympic gaffe-fest, Karl Rove, architect of George W. Bush’s presidential victories, said, “You have to shake your head.” To add insult to injury, Rove made his comment on Fox News, the official GOP cable network.
  • Conservative pundit George Will poured fuel on the fire when he said that Romney’s decision not to release more than two years’ worth of tax returns was a sign that the risk of disclosure was higher than the risk of stonewalling. “I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that [John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest,” Will helpfully said.
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial page (aka Rupert Murdoch) has consistently shown its disdain for Romney and the campaign he is running. Eviscerating Romney’s argument that can handle the economy because of his success as a businessman, the Journal said “candidates who live by biography typically lose by it. See President John Kerry.”
  •  Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard and the man who brought us Sarah Palin, cited polls last month to show that Romney’s campaign is failing to make any headway against Obama, despite the faltering economy. “I don’t think you can beat an incumbent president, even if the economy is slow, if 27 percent of the voters think you as the challenger don’t have a clear plan for improving the economy,” Kristol opined.

We could go on.

None of these guys shoots from the hip: They know exactly what they’re saying and have calculated its effect to the tenth decimal place. They are not Joe (“Oops, did I say that?”) Biden. What we are seeing is a pattern in which GOP thought-leaders feel free to point out Romney’s flaws, even if doing so plays into the hands of his critics.

All of this points to a fundamental problem for Romney: he doesn’t command the loyalty of his own party. In part, this may be due to his squishy conservative credentials. Romney’s personality may also play a part. By several accounts, a lot of Republicans who know Romney dislike him. He has, in the words of conservative writer Jonah Goldberg, “an authentic inauthenticity problem,” accentuated by his own personal awkwardness. (That a conservative writer would even say that is another example of the loyalty gap.) A regular guy, Mitt is not.

But the party’s discipline always papered over those kind of problems. You won’t remember any Republicans suggesting that George W. Bush was a dim bulb in 2000 for not pulling away from Al Gore in the final stretch. Romney’s lackluster support, reflected in a string of lukewarm endorsements even from prospective VP choices, is particularly striking given the party’s visceral desire to throw Obama out of the White House (and possibly the country). Even that prospect doesn’t seem to overcome a lack of faith in Romney.

Romney has always been a lousy candidate, and when defeat is in the air, self-preservation trumps party loyalty. Better to say, “I told you so,” than to pretend it will all come out alright. Still, that’s another sign that Romney has a huge uphill climb ahead of him. Yes, it’s a close race and Romney can still pull it off, but his own party is sending strong signals that it doesn’t think he’s going to be moving into the White House in January. That’s not a good sign for Romney–but it may be for everyone else.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Aug 10, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 20 Comments
    • hassia
      hassia

      The man is creepy that’s why.He makes GB look nice. any way heres my video for same sex marriage. http://youtu.be/CTayljq4jw0

      Aug 10, 2012 at 6:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      Uhmmmm, interesting, BUT, no mention that run-of-the-mill hypocritical fundamentalist [so-called] Christians and Tea Party nuts, don’t accept the premise that Jesus’ Later Day Saints exist, that God didn’t send etched golden plates revealing His secrets to a bunch of sex-addicted adultery loving renegades. All those fringe Republican nuts KNOW that when God sends personal messages, its through talking flaming bushes, etched in STONE commandments, etc.

      Here’s a trick, search for the word “Mormon” on this page, and, at least as of now, the only time you will find it is in this sentence. Come on Queerty, is it that hard to be relavent?

      Aug 10, 2012 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      I think the fact that Romney is Mormon is definitely a problem. However, the real problem here is that people can not trust Romney. He has flip-flopped on EVERY major issue, and it is quite evident just by watching news recordings.

      Also, they are better off keeping Obama for 4 more years if it means they can get someone for 8 years afterwards. I do not believe that anyone thinks Romney has a chance in hell of going more than 4 years.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 9:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scobar
      Scobar

      @Daez: Funny how it’s “flip-flopping” when Romney changes his mind, but when Obama does it, it’s “evolution.” Now please step aside while I projectile vomit over the blatant hypocrisy of you and the rest of the gay left.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean
      Sean

      It is not that he flip flops it is more about what he flip flops on. He has switched sides on every major republican issue. Maybe he really has changed his mind or more likely he is just trying to win the white house.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 4 · Scobar wrote, “@Daez: Funny how it’s “flip-flopping” when Romney changes his mind, but when Obama does it, it’s “evolution.” Now please step aside while I projectile vomit over the blatant hypocrisy of you and the rest of the gay left.”

      Scobar should read http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/us/politics/etch-a-sketch-remark-a-rare-misstep-for-romney-adviser.html – it would be a surprise if the Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom, who blurted out the term “Etch A Sketch” with regard to how Romney’s positions could change between the primaries and the general election, is a part of the “gay left” or any kind of “left” for that matter.

      There’s an obvious difference between positions that evolve – change with time either tracking public opinion or external circumstances – and ones whose changes are choreographed to fit the election cycle.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cam
      cam

      @Scobar:

      If you Log Cabin guys are going to come on here, please try not to use the same grade school tactics of the Tea Partiers.

      If you have specific examples, then please site them. If you don’t then all you have are vague commentary.

      But then again, a group claiming to be a gay group that ATTACKED the President for coming out in FAVOR of gay marriage is so burried in their own partisanship that you do not have credibility.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cam
      cam

      @The Real Mike in Asheville:

      How DARE you mention the LDS (Mormon) Church on Queerty?!? You may only mention them if it is flattering, and you can only talk about gays if it is somebody molesting a child or lying about being gay bashed!

      Aug 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Scobar: Funny, when you can show me video of Obama changing his mind of EVERY major issue then I think you are on to something. Even the boys on the right realize that Romney is inconsistent on every issue ever. Please explain Rombomba Care, for starters.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • janice
      janice

      If Republicans dont like Romney, how come he won the nomination? You dont make sense, lol.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TrekBear
      TrekBear

      @Janice, maybe Republicans thought he was the best of a bad lot!

      Aug 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Biting Truth
      Biting Truth

      Whatever the case, I’m still voting for Romney come November. I’m no Republican and was once a staunch supporter of Obama…but his declarations during this election season have put me off to me. It’ll be a shame if he won again, but then I’d just take solace in knowing that if he does, then in 2016 a Republican WILL win the White house and the entire mood of the country will probably swing VERY right after 8 years of him — ala the Bush years!

      Aug 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Biting Truth
      Biting Truth

      Whatever the case, I’m still voting for Romney come November. I’m no Republican and was once a staunch supporter of Obama…but his declarations during this election season have put me off to him. It’ll be a shame if he won again, but then I’d just take solace in knowing that if he does, then in 2016 a Republican WILL win the White house and the entire mood of the country will probably swing VERY right after 8 years of him — ala the Bush years!

      Aug 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doug
      Doug

      The problem with Mitt is he’s not taking the offense, and is blowing what should be an easy win because of it.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • samwise
      samwise

      @Biting Truth: What declarations?

      Aug 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      Weaseling Willard is going to name his VP tomorrow, let the fun begin lol

      @Biting Truth: You are no Republican yet dream for another 8 years of Bush??? Yeah and I got a bridge to sell you.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Biting Truth:

      You are a liar.

      You did NOT vote for Romney because your posting is exactly out of the Log Cabin or Tea Partier playbook when they come on here.

      They come on, they make a vague statement about all the terrible things Obama has done without citing anything specific. Nice try. But again, the fact that you guys ATTACKED the President when he came out in support of gay marriage, and after he signed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, pretty much tells me that you have crossed the line and you are now basically an anti-gay group. I say this because you are shilling for a party with anti-gay attitudes and are therefore trying to hurt the community.

      Aug 11, 2012 at 7:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Cam:

      Mistake, you did not vote for OBAMA as you claimed…Romney mistype.

      Aug 11, 2012 at 7:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Artist
      The Artist

      @janice: Romney didn’t “win” anything. He was just the last man standing.

      Aug 11, 2012 at 7:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Artist
      The Artist

      I simply cannot believe the comments on this page. Do people honestly think that Obama is doing such a bad job? There is never perfection in a human being, but this country needs Obama now more than ever. Things are getting more divisive, violence and apathy is increasing. Listen to the vernacular, really listen. The economy is recovering. The temperature of the language is changing. And help that is deserved to middle and working class is part of a greater agenda. It is typical of the American ideology to zero in on the negative. Again, as the cost of living increasing and the wedge between the classes grows, THINK before you sound off.

      If you think the President has done such a bad job, check out http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

      Aug 11, 2012 at 8:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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